Dish Network and DirecTV Programming Comparisons

When it comes to satellite TV shopping, most shoppers will have dilemma in choosing between Dish Network and DirecTV. Generally, monthly charges, system reliability, after sales customer supports, and programming choices are what shoppers most concern about. As Dish Network vs DirecTV guide is available everywhere, I believe it’s no point for me to keep stressing on those general factors. What I am going to share with you here is about the programming packages of these two satellite TV providers.

At the first look, both programming packages offered by Dish Network and DirecTV are pretty similar. But if you look close enough, you will notice there are lots of differences between their programming packages.

Programming choices in basic packages

For Dish Network, basic packages are DishFamily, America’s Top 60, Top 120, Top 180, and Everything Pak; offering 40, 60, 120, 180, and 230 channels respectively. For DirecTV, there are three main standard packages, which are Total Choice (155 channels), Total Choice Plus (185 channels), and Total Choice Premier (250 channels).

In term of quantity, DirecTV has more options when compare to Dish Network (250 vs 230) for the top packages. However, DirecTV service is sold in only three packages and less customization can be done on the package details – this makes their programming choices less flexible.

On the other hand, Dish Network, who breaks down the huge package into a few smaller packages, give more options to the shoppers. Most of the time, you don’t watch all TV programs provided by the providers, there’s no point for you to order a 155 channels if all you need is a list of ten cartoon channels for your kids. In such case, Dish Network would be a better deal as smaller programming packages (with less options) means a cheaper monthly subscription fees.

Dish Network and DirecTV price comparisons

At the time of writing, Dish Network lowest price ($19.99) programming package is DishFamily which serve 40 family-oriented channels; this includes programming channels like The Biography Channel, Discovery Kids, Food Network, Hallmark, and Nickelodeon.

Also, under recent cash rebates promotion, you can get America’s Top 60 (basics) in $19.99 for ten months, where there are around 60 channels in your selection list including major news channels like CNN, CNBC, major sports channels like ESPN, ESPN2, as well as main stream music channels MTV, MTV 2.

Their America’s Top 60 package is $19.99 and has 75 channels with a variety of programs like A&E, CNN, CNBC, Discovery Channel, The History Channel, The Home Shopping Network, Lifetime, Nickelodeon, and TV Games Network.

For DirecTV, the least expensive package will cost your around 40 bucks per month. The package comes in 155 channels (WOW!) where you get all the major channels you can have with Dish Network’s Top 60 or DishFamily; plus a variety of programming channels in lifestyle entertainment, informational, family, education, shopping, and sports. On top of that, you also get 50 XM satellite radio channels with DirecTV.

Price vs programming choices

To come to a conclusion, we need to consider price and programming choices side-by-side for both Dish Network and DirecTV. For Dish Network, $19.99 for 40 channels (DishFamily) and nearly 70 channels (Top 60): means we pay about $0.50 and $0.30 per channel monthly. For DirecTV, $40/155, that’s $0.25 per channel.

Who’s cheaper in average? DirecTV.


Isn’t DirecTV Total Choice gives such greater deal? I mean, we can do nothing all day long and sit right in front of the TV and still, we cannot even finish watching half of the shows. However, ask yourself, do you watch TV all day long always? What’s the last time you in front of your TV for more than 3 hours? There is no doubt that DirecTV programming package does give more options in an acceptable price but the question is can you watch them all? Note that although DirecTV charge less per channels but in actual case, you are paying more in monthly fees as the lowest price of their package is around $40. Dish Network, although charge you more in term of price per channel ($0.05 more per channel), it breaks their big packages into a much smaller chunks (Dish Top 60, DishFamily) and sell you in a much lower price – less than $20 per month.

So Dish Network or DirecTV? You will be the judge, do you want a cheaper price per channel and pay higher monthly fees in total amount; or you want to go for the less selections but lower total monthly fees.

Author: Teddy Low